By Gavin Staindl
THE all-conquering Dandenong and District Cricket Association junior club can add another feather to its cap after returning as champions from an international Twenty20 tournament.
The team that became the state’s best under-16 side when it took out the Jim Beitzel shield this year, also went undefeated in this month’s Junior International Twenty20 Tournament that was held in Malaysia.
Guided by the Young Cricketers Development and International Experience program, the team was almost exclusively made up of local players.
Ten players from the Cranbourne-Berwick area featured in the 11-man side that defeated the best club teams from India and Sri Lanka before turning to a Malaysian-based team in the grand final.
Led by Endeavour Hills sub-district player, Kevin Kean, the Australian team put on a dominating performance to cruise to a 34-run win.
Kean, who received the award for the tournament’s best batsmen, made 39 not out in the grand final as the DDCA-based club finished at 4/140 from the 20 overs.
Cranbourne’s Harley Miller also scored prominently, making 40 runs including a towering six that hit the roof of the stadium.
The big-hitting Miller hit a tournament high -11 sixes from five games.
The Cranbourne junior who took out best bowler for the tournament, Jordyn Baker, also played an important role in defending the grand final total, taking 2/15.
Hallam-Kalora Park’s JakedB McVicar took 3/23 and Parkfield’s Shaun Nigara claimed two wickets in two balls to bowl the Malaysian Cubs out for 106 in 19th over.
“We had eight members from the team that won the VMCU (Jim Beitzel) shield come over with us so we have a pretty good nucleus,” under-16’s coach Peter Mathison said.
“Our first game was a practise match in which we were beaten but we never got beaten after that… they played really good cricket and everyone contributed.”
By Gavin Staindl